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Occupational Health (Policy and Practice) (MSc)

n/a (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / 3 years (MSc) (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

The MSc in Occupational Health is a distance e-Learning programme that offers knowledge and expertise in the science underpinning Occupational Health and Safety, problem-solving skills, and current and developing practice in the area. Its aim is to develop a research focus to enhance occupational health practice from a multi-professional perspective. This distance learning programme offers a convenient means of acquiring a postgraduate degree in Occupational Health for nurses, doctor, health and safety advisors or managers with busy work schedules and other responsibilities.

Special Features

Course Description

MSc programme with Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma exit points. Apart from the introductory course in Cardiff, this distance learning programme is delivered entirely on-line and face-to-face contact is not required.

Students are responsible for their travel and accommodation costs relating to attendance at the introductory course, and for the purchase of some hard-copy textbooks (i.e. these costs are not included in the programme fee). Please contact the programme team for additional information.

This is a postgraduate and self directed programme, and participants are expected to collaborate through on-line interactions.

The emphasis of the programme is on common occupational health and safety issues encountered in the workplace environment. Areas and concepts covered include:

This programme covers the majority of the competencies for specialist training as set out by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Many of these areas and concepts will have special relevance to a number of participants on the programme. However, other professionals will learn the major issues so that their understanding can be enhanced along with their role as part of the team protecting the health resource of their business.

Teaching materials are delivered on-line and participants, divided into groups, will work through tasks and case studies through on-line discussion and collaboration. Students assume responsibility for participating actively in the on-line learning process as a member of their team. Teaching materials will summarise information and therefore, in some respects, replace lectures. Participants are expected to contribute to the learning process according to their own backgrounds and experience. They discuss their findings and conclusions as a group and present them to their tutors and peers.

The modular design of the programme will allow focus on problem solving skills and development of an evidence based approach to occupational health issues. Teaching materials will identify essential reading and include self-assessment tasks. Written assignments will be completed from a large choice and will form part of the module assessment. This will be supplemented by participation in an e-conference, which will be problem-based.

The emphasis throughout the programme is on common occupational health and safety issues encountered in the workplace environment. Achieving this award will enhance your performance in occupational health services and prospects of occupational health jobs.

Please see this BMJ Careers article in which one of the graduate students reflects on her experience of the programme.

Staff Profiles

Whilst the majority of the programme is delivered by consultants in occupational medicine, the Programme Management Team also includes professionals in occupational health law, nursing and human resources, including UK leading experts such as Prof Diana Kloss MBE, Prof David Russell and Greta Thornbory.

Module Information

The MSc programme comprises several phases as set out below:

Taught Stages (Years 1 & 2)

Phase I: Introductory familiarisation course (three days)
Phase II: Delivery of e-modules (over two stages/years, with three modules to be taken in each of two years)

We currently offer the following modules during the taught stages:

Dissertation Stage (year 3)

Phase III: Choice of dissertation
Phase IV: Completion of dissertation.


Throughout the teaching materials, formative on-line tests are available, which although not compulsory, assist participants in assessing their progress. In addition, each module is summatively assessed. For the first module, this consists of submission of a 4000 word written assignment, which may involve critical appraisal of the literature.  For the remainder of the taught modules, this comprises participation in a problem-based e-conference (approx.. 3 hours), involving the on-line discussion of case scenarios or other similar focus, and the submission of a 3,000 word written assignment, which may involve critical appraisal of the literature.  

Entry Requirements

Candidates must satisfy Cardiff University General Entrance Requirements and, in addition, will normally possess an initial degree or appropriate professional qualification. 

Applications will be considered from graduates in a relevant subject, e.g. medicine, nursing or other healthcare professions, with an interest in and experience of occupational health services. Applicants without a degree, but with appropriate vocational qualifications, will also be considered.

The course will be delivered in a multi-professional environment. For this reason, applicants working in fields with more limited direct involvement with employee health issues will also be considered, e.g. trade union officers, human resource managers, scientists etc., subject to the same prior educational standards.

Useful links

Postal Address:

Therapeutics and Toxicology
School of Medicine
Cardiff University
Heath Park
CF14 4XN

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time n/a n/a
Part-time MSc: £3,875 MSc: £5,625
Deposit Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy. Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Emma Scott OR Lynda Sullivan  

Telephone: +44 (0) 29 2074 2659 or +44 (0) 29 2074 6698 



School Website:

More information

Important legal information

The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.


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